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Darfur inaction causes NCC leader to take action 

New York City, May 2, 2007 "As nations turn a blind eye to the ongoing genocide in Darfur, a New Yorker named Tony Kireopoulos takes action," reads the headline in the May issue of "Best Life" magazine.

Dr. Kireopoulos is the associate general secretary for international affairs and peace at the National Council of Churches USA (NCC) and a member of the executive board of the Save Darfur Coalition.

"Three and a half million Sudanese are at risk of genocide and starvation," says Kireopoulos in an interview in the upscale magazine that targets professional male readers.  "Already 400,000 lives have been lost and 2 million refugees have fled into neighboring Chad. This ethnic cleansing, fueled by ethnic and tribal hatred, has been described as the worst the world has seen since the Rwandan massacre of 1994. It continues to this very minute," says the article in a feature section the magazine calls, "My Cause."

Kireopoulos reveals in the article how his own personal journey toward a career in international finance took a radical turn after visiting his family's native Greece.  He heard stories from village residents about their resistance to fascism in World War II.  Instead of returning home and continuing his corporate finance career, he tells "Best Life," he wanted to learn about the resilience of such people and ultimately went on to study theology and take a different direction in his life.
 
"With my international politics education from Georgetown and international finance training from Thunderbird, in Arizona, I found myself uniquely qualified to join the struggle for global peace," he says in the article.

The magazine's cover photo of a well-dressed Luke Wilson is surrounded by eye-catching headlines:  "The best way to lose your gut," "Younger, Leaner & Richer," and "5 Perfect Foods for Men."  The magazine routinely offers advice on finance, sex, marriage and other areas of life including philanthropy.

"I think having Tony's witness to peace and to the Gospel in this publication is just what Jesus had in mind when he said, 'No one lights a lamp and hides it under a bushel basket,'" said Wesley Pattillo, NCC's associate general secretary for communication. 

"There are thousands of readers who may never pick up a Bible but now they've read Tony's story and know why people of faith bear such witness."

The magazine also listed several ways to take action starting with visiting www.savedarfur.org where families can learn ways to help stop the murder of thousands.

"Last September, as tens of thousands of blue-beret-wearing activists, symbolizing the needed U.N. peacekeepers, rallied in Central Park," Kireopoulos says in the article, "I took the microphone and told the crowd, 'The human race cannot bear another shameful day in the future when, looking back if we do nothing all we will be able to say is 'Never again.' Something we've said too many times before."


NCC News contact:  Dan Webster, 212.870.2252, NCCnews@ncccusa.org


 

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